Today’s job market has created a conundrum for growing companies. The landscape is rich with qualified candidates. But issue a want ad, and some statistics note that 200 applications are likely to respond.

How can any employer reasonably cope with that flood of candidates?

Those corporations, healthcare organizations and government departments using an applicant tracking system find they have a powerful, enterprise-wide job acquisition and talent management solution ideal for businesses in hiring mode – or even those that are fully staffed.

Today’s ATS provides web-based applicant tracking and candidate management systems that empower businesses with easy-to-acquire and easy-to-use tools to reduce costs and streamline business operations. They automate candidate application and resume management – and create an invaluable competitive advantage.

The solution starts at the beginning of the job requisition life cycle. Job requests entered into the system automatically are distributed to, and GoogleBase, expanding the reach of the company’s corporate career center and saving thousands of dollars in premium job board costs. Some ATS providers even leverage social media sites for locating applicants.

Once applicants begin responding, that’s where the magic occurs. Employers with an ATS solution in place make quick work of managing inbound resumes and pre-qualifying candidates. Even unsolicited resumes are handled easily and quickly. Every required form or document, from resumes to supporting documentation, is submitted online and stored on the host server. No more paper resumes and faxed applications, thereby simplifying handling, review and storage needs. Once reviewed, the candidate immediately can be entered into the prospect pool, or saved for future consideration.

The solution manages applications by categories, enables cross-department searches, facilitates job requisition approval chains, and allows for feedback on specific candidates from anyone in the organization– even if those submitting feedback aren’t paid users on the system.

What about the list of qualified applicants who weren’t hired? Companies used to delete or toss those applications. No longer. An ATS enables companies to retain documentation of pre-qualified applicants for when job openings arise. Just search – by geography, criteria, skills or other fields – from among the pool of highly skilled candidates who already have been vetted and met company criteria. Having this storehouse of candidates close at hand makes filling openings fast and easy.

An ATS also enables a company to be less reliant upon its human resources staff for such processes as forwarding applicants to appropriate departments or managers for review. The system collects and organizes information in a centralized database accessible not only to a particular HR staffer’s computer, but to anyone with account access.

A well-designed ATS also is highly scalable to meet the needs of a growing organization. Like many software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions, the modern ATS is an evolving tool. New features and functionality that help users gain efficiency and streamline the candidate management process are added seamlessly. More recent additions include background check, onboarding and payroll functions. This makes today’s ATS an end-to-end solution for the entire candidate-to-employee life cycle.

Moreover, the best solutions feature a short learning curve. They’re staffed by experienced advisors with a wealth of knowledge about candidate management, and customer service representatives are standard as part of the service.

Simply put, a right-priced ATS application delivers leading-edge solutions and compelling return on investment. Starting at $100 a month, an ATS can be a cost-effective solution at a reasonable expense – regardless of whether your company is hiring today or tomorrow.